Keywords: quotation, aphorism, translation, edition, commentary


In his works, Shevchenko repeatedly mentioned the name of the Italian poet of the Renaissance Dante Alighieri (1265–1321), used reminiscences and quotes from his work, which indicates a high level of knowledge of "The Divine Comedy" author's legacy (c. 1308–1321). Until now, it was believed that all such references to the poetry by the famous Italian have long been carefully considered and thoroughly studied. However, a closer examination revealed a lack of details about the sources of Shevchenko's acquaintance with the famous poem. The traditional methods of literary source studies and methods of philological analysis applied in this study made it possible in some cases to bring to light, with a high degree of probability, the translations Shevchenko read and the publications he used, although absolute accuracy cannot be achieved here. The author of the article argues that Shevchenko knew the aphorism from the Fifth song in "The Inferno" used in a letter to Osyp Bodians'kyi dated November 15, 1852, not in Avraam Norov's translation, but in Dmitrii Min's translation published in 1843 in the journal "Moskvitianin". It is still unclear where Shevchenko found a quote from the song XVII in "The Paradiso" he used in a letter to Bronisław Zaleski (in the second half of June 1856). It was possible to discover that the poet knew this aphorism, most likely through Alexander Pushkin's novel "The Queen of Spades" (1833), first published in the popular journal "Biblioteka dlia chteniia" in 1834. As a result, the author rejected as unconvincing a hypothesis offered previously by commentators that Shevchenko knew "The Inferno" in a Russian translation by Elizaveta Kologrivova, published for two years in six installments, which the Ukrainian poet most likely did not know. In addition, her translation did not relieve artistic flawlessness (tercins in the original are reproduced in prose). Most likely, Shevchenko heard a lot about "The Divine Comedy", especially about its first part, and read some fragments available in the periodicals, in particular, as it was proved, in a translation by Dmitrii Min.


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How to Cite
Boron, O. (2022). SOURCES OF QUOTATIONS FROM DANTE IN SHEVCHENKO’S LETTERS: DOI: Bulletin of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. Literary Studies. Linguistics. Folklore Studies, (1(31), 5-8. Retrieved from